Papa Don’t Preach

I am very thankful for Rachel and her help with Simplicity 1998. With her help I managed to save it…kinda. After unpicking the neck binding the fabric stretched out quite a bit. And I was given the advice (thanks IngeMaat) to steam the heck out of it to make the fabric recover.

Simplicity 1998

Unfortunately I forgot to do it. Totally forgot. And after attaching the neck binding for the fourth time since starting this dress, well, I wasn’t going to unpick it. But that’s okay. I will be sporting the boatneck/Madonna-circa-Papa-Don’t-Preach look. And I am okay with that.

Simplicity 1998

Rachel measured me, all of me: high bust, full bust, shoulder width, hip to floor, etc. With these figures we realized that my initial cutting of size 22 was oh so wrong. I ended up needing a size 14 at the neck, left the arms at 22 for length, an 18 at the bust and waist and 20 at the hips. The dress is definitely not swallowing me like before.

Simplicity 1998

It’s roomy in the back but not too much.

Simplicity 1998

I’m quite happy with the results. I got a wearable dress and the fabric was not wasted. The neckline could have been better but I can live with the 80s look.

Simplicity 1998

Making this dress made my bad sewing habits come out front and center.

1. I very rarely measure the flat pattern and compare the measurements against my own. Had I done this I would have seen that there was 16 inches of ease built into size 22! Just so you know, the size 22 was for a high bust of 44 and I’m 43.5 so I wasn’t wrong to go with 22. I was wrong to think the ease was minimal.

2. I never pull or manipulate my fabric to make sure the grain lines are even. Bad Mela.

3. I wish I would remember to use a pressing cloth. I always end up with shiny bits on my fabric. Yuck!

4. I want to learn to love the rotary cutter. Cutting knit would be so much easier if I would just learn to use one properly.

5. Fitting would go so much easier if I basted my stitches, checked the fit and went from there.

6. I must start looking up the proper settings for my machine depending on the fabric I’m using. And find out the proper needle size. I initially used a jersey needle in size 75/11 but it kept skipping stitches. After a bit of research I went with 80/12 and it worked perfectly.

Thank you Rachel for your help. And thank you Simplicity 1998 for making me realize I have some bad sewing habits to work on.

33 thoughts on “Papa Don’t Preach

  1. Your dress turned out wonderful and looks very flattering. Great styling, too, but I think you always do your styling very well.


  2. It looks awesome on you. The colour is so rich and to be honest, I quite like the neckline. It also sounds like this was a good learning experience… And I must confess I share a lot of those sewing bad habits!


  3. This looks great! I love the neckline, too– you have lovely shoulders, so you should show them off more often! The color is amazing! The last dress I made is a straight, loose-fitting dress without a waist seam, and I measured the flat pattern for the first time ever and it saved me so much heartache! There was an outrageous amount of ease built into the pattern that would have been a massive pain in the butt to deal with. I have to get better about using a press cloth, too– I get excited and leave shine marks, too. 😦


    • Thank you! I am loving mustard/goldenrod so much lately. I mostly deal with independent patterns so I forget that Big Four patterns have so much ease built in. Won’t be forgetting now.


  4. Am so pleased you saved this as the colour is divine on you – so autumnal. Rachel is the fitting goddess! Ummm – most of your sewing bad habits are mine too. Oh dear! Is it too early for NY sewing resolutions?


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